Now that we've seen many of the characters and have an idea of the story, I figure I might as well post "Conan the Barbarian: Attempting A More Howardian Rewrite, Or, Let's Fix the Doppenheimer Script," with alterations rising from new casting decisions like Cheren. I had written this a long time ago (16th March 2010, in fact), but because I wanted to include conceptual art of the characters as I would've depicted them, it fell by the wayside.
I've split the story into five acts, with a prologue and epilogue. The acts are roughly twenty minutes to half an hour, while the bookends five or ten minutes. At most, the film would be 2 hours 40 minutes, at least 1 hour 35 minutes: ideally it would be somewhere in between, perhaps a lean 2 hours. This is the best I could manage. I tried to include as many of the Doppenheimer/Lobel/Hood characters as I could, and as many of the plot points. It still isn't anywhere near perfect, and I don't doubt it leads a lot to be desired as a screenplay, but I figured I could at least try.
Amidst a raging sword battle in northwest Cimmeria, a woman, ISLENE, is fighting. She is heavily pregnant, covered in blood, and in labour. After slaying a massive Vanir Marauder, she falls to the ground. CORIN (Ron Perlman), the father of her child, comes to her, and helps deliver the baby. The infant is born in the midst of carnage and slaughter, his young eyes and ears drinking in the chaos. The mother names him CONAN. From there, the credits sequence begins: a narrator recites the Nemedian Chronicles, as we see the lands and peoples of the Hyborian Age, introducing us to the time of Conan.
Conan is a strong child, wise beyond his years. Our first meeting with YOUNG CONAN (Leo Howard) sees him in a pantherskin loin-clout, stalking a mountain beast (a cave lion, cave bear, or similarly imposing creature), which he slays with a spear. As Conan begins to skin the dead beast, a hawk circles overhead, intent on driving the boy from his prize. Conan hurls a rock with pinpoint accuracy, felling the predator. He journeys home with two prizes, climbing sheer cliffs and passing herds of wild Cimmerian cattle. It is not only Conan's father and mother who are important in Conan's early life: his grandfather regales him with tales of the kingdoms to the south, their treasures, their wonders, their treasures. Conan's heart is aflame with desire to see all the world has to offer.
The next day, he is engaging in warrior training with the other Cimmerian lads, who happen to be taught by Conan's grandfather. During one exercise involving an excursion into the forest, Conan and four of his friends are ambushed: all are slain by arrows, save for Conan, who dives into the undergrowth. Conan waits for the attackers to reveal themselves, to take their trophies from the dead boys. After a tense moment, four Picts skulk from the shadows. When they approach the boys to take weapons and baubles, Conan launches himself at them, slaughtering them to a man.
Alerted by the primal death-screams of the Picts, when his father and other clansmen come upon the carnage, they are awestruck by Conan's brutality and savagery, before spreading word of this mighty young warrior to campfires all around Cimmeria. His father, the clan blacksmith, teaches him various methods of the trade, including an interesting philosophical metaphor between the forging of a sword and the training of a warrior. Conan understands the allusion immediately, and throughout the film, he remembers his father's words. Conan's mother tells him of Crom and his dark race, Cimmerian theology, and warns him of the terrors of Cimmerian mythology: she imparts words of wisdom, and not to trust to gods to intervene on his behalf, that he must be self-reliant.
However, she is interrupted by news of a rival clan and their allies approaching their village, intent on a raid: father, mother, grandfather and son go to battle. While fighting, he spies a beautiful Cimmerian girl near his age among the enemy: he resists the urge to kill her when he has the chance, giving her the opportunity to retreat with the survivors of the rival clan. Corin knows this, and mindful of his own father-in-law's experiences, warns Conan of Cimmerian blood-feuds, noting that only with the threat of foreign invasion do the Cimmerians put aside their clan hatreds. Islene tells Conan of the Kings of Acheron who rode north to subjugate the Cimmerians, and how they were hurled back through the combined might of the clans - though the sorcerous power of the Acheronians took its toll on the people. Islene says the story is likely just folklore, but even if it is, it provided a precedent that would prove invaluable to the Cimmerian people in years to come.
Next, a battle between Cimmerians and renegade Aquilonians: the Aquilonians had planned on recruiting the Cimmerians into their army, but negotiations swiftly degenerated into open hostility. Conan has followed the girl's people south, and is viewing the battle from a distance. Once again, he sees that beautiful girl across the battle, and is impressed by her formidable swordplay. He resolves to meet with her late at night near her village, hopeful that she would be open minded. Of course, she isn't, and tries to kill Conan. In the madness of battle--even when Conan is trying to stay alive while loath to kill the girl--they fail to realise how dangerously close they have come to a herd of cattle. A great Cimmerian bull charges them, and aims to gore them both. Realising they cannot run, the two exchange glances: they know they have to work together just to survive. Eventually, through teamwork, they kill the beast, with Conan breaking its very neck. The boy and girl, relationship forged by fire, have a moment. The girl's name is Tamara. One fateful day, Conan and Tamara are alone together in the forest, far from both their homes. It is here that Khalar Shah enters the story.
Years later, we find that CONAN (Jason Momoa) and TAMARA (Rachel Nichols) have grown up together, and Conan has become famed among the Cimmerians, having sent even chieftains' souls to the dark. Conan is now15, but looks even older due to his physique and many scars already lining his skin, gained from his many wanderings throughout Cimmeria outside his home tribelands. A horde of Cimmerians - Tamara's people - are hard pressed against a larger army unlike any seen thus far: veteran GUNDERLAND PIKEMEN holding the warriors at bay, BOSSONIAN ARCHERS raining death from afar, while led by arrogant Aquilonian noble LUCIUS (Steve O'Donnell). Powerful as the Cimmerians are, they are trapped in a bloody stalemate. Soon, a new force comes over a forested hill, lead by a warrior clad in gleaming mail: KHALAR SHAH (Stephen Lang), general of a host of Free Companions. He is followed by his captains: UKAFA (Bob Sapp) and ARTUS (Nonso Anozie), leaders of a group of Black Corsairs; CHEREN (Diana Lubenova), commander of the Turanian horsemen; REMO (Milton Davies), Master-Thief of a group of Zamorian assassins; and FASSIR (Raad Rawi), commander of the Shemite Asshuri. Khalar's daughter MARIQUE (Rose McGowan) is also present, but far from the battlefield on a divan, guarded by the gigantic Hyperborean AKHUN (Nathan Jones).
Khalar has come to Gunderland ostensibly as a mercenary general, to assist the Gundermen in their colonisation of southern Cimmeria. However, in secret, Khalar believes he's a descendent of ancient Acheron, and has dreams of empire. His army is small, but is composed of the finest warriors in the world: Corsairs, Kshatriya cavalry, Shemite Asshuri. His Mighty Archers of Turan can kill a foe from half a mile away (some say they do it with such speed, it's as if they have... four arms. Some also say they could slay a man... blindfolded), his Zamorian assassins seem to melt into the shadows as they stalk their prey. It is a force that could take on ten times their number, and be considered to have the advantage.
Khalar's army is all but indestructible, even for Cimmerians: severely weakened by Turanian and Shemite arrow fire, barely half make it to the front line, where the corsairs hold them for the Aquilonian knights to charge into the flanks. Every Cimmerian is slain, and they take a lot of damage to slay: Khalar notes to Lucius that the nearby hill would make a fine site for a settlement. Lucius is affronted, demanding to know why Vilerus sent a mercenary force when he had the Cimmerians well in hand. Khalar is evasive and dismissive: clearly, he has something else on his mind than establishing a fort. Why is Khalar in Cimmeria?
His first task is to establish the settlement of Venarium, which understandably means destroying a few tribes. Though he offers the Cimmerians the option to join him, the proud southerners will not follow a sorcerer (for Cimmerians can detect the taint of sorcery), and Khalar's army, along with his Gundermen allies, exterminates them. The Cimmerians fight ferociously, and any other force would crumble at their assault: Khalar's army is a well-oiled machine, fighting almost as a single being. The Gundermen hold the Cimmerians at bay, the Asshuri wreak havoc with their bows, while the Adventurers close in from the flanks. The Kshatriya crash into the back, the hammer to the Gundermen's anvil, and though the Cimmerians deal some damage, their assault is like that of the sea against a cliff.
Conan and Tamara did not go far before the smoke from the village gathers on the horizon, alerting them to the massacre. He runs to the village to find it in ruins, the bodies of the slain mutilated and arranged in a ghastly panorama as a warning to other Cimmerians. Tamara, speechless, but her grief and fury plain to see, turns to Conan: they know what must be done. Conan and Tamara rush to other villages of the Aquilonian's movements: News of the incursion spreads throughout Cimmeria. Soon, Conan's people hear the word, and many warriors gather to march on the Aquilonians. Conan's people meet up with their habitual foes: without so much as a grudging snarl, they march side by side as one. Within days, the Cimmerians are on the warpath.
Back at the Aquilonian camp, the fort is taking shape, with the army residing in tents. Apart from these is a larger, ominous tent, from which issue strange sounds and lights. The soldiers keep away from this eldritch place, while Artus braves the tent. He is held back by Ukafa, who warns him not to disturb Khalar when he is in his tent - especially when he is not alone. Artus pushes his brother out of the way and goes through - where he sees a sight that fills him with horror and revulsion. Khalar, realising that Artus may have seen to much, has Ukafa put Artus in chains, and orders decimation of the corsairs on the spot. The next day: Khalar's army have been helpful for the Gundermen establishing the fort town of Venarium, though Khalar takes his leave with his lieutenants (leaving his army under Lucius' command), dissatisfied at being unable to coax the Cimmerians, and decides to head for Hyperborea. The Gundermen are glad of this, having witnessed some of his horrific sorcery first-hand. As it turns out, he leaves just in time: mere days later, the Cimmerians assault Venarium.
This time, the Gundermen are powerless to stop the Cimmerian assault. The Cimmerians swarm over the hills, cutting down the hastily-arranged Gundermen schiltroms. When Khalar's forces arrange themselves, they stolidly stand their ground, but the numbers are just too vast. The Cimmerians overwhelm the army like a wave, and begin to climb the walls of Venarium.
Inside Venarium itself, Tamara finds and interrogates Lucius, who tells her of Khalar's plans, though he merely knows that he's heading "north". Tamara slays Lucius, and leaves without delay. Having been split up from Tamara, Conan is searching for her, before finding Lucius. Conan frees a number of outlaws in the holding cells clamour for Conan, begging for him to release them: one of them, a certain thief named ELA-SHAN (Said Taghmaoui), realises that Conan must be searching for Tamara, and promises to tell him if he frees them. Conan frees him anyway, and the thief tells him she went to find Khalar. Khalar hid his tracks well, and Tamara is a strong tracker, leaving practically no spoor for Conan to follow.
Weeks have passed since Venarium. Conan, with his Aesir allies, have been following rumours and suggestion, making their way east, until they learn of the dread kingdom of Hyperborea, a name synonymous with cruelty and civilization's darkest side.
Khalar has set up shop in the westernmost Hyperborean city, in the cyclopean castle which has lasted since Hyperborea's early history. The king of Hyperborea is jealous of Khalar's power, and (correctly) surmises that Khalar has designs on the kingdom. However, for the moment Khalar aims to leave Hyperborea when his work is done: work involving communing with the Outer Dark, bargaining with the enigmatic Yara, and even conspiring with outcasts of the Black Ring. His next plan is to head to an ancient temple in the steppes between Hyperborea and Turan, believed to be the home of a great magic he seeks. Tamara sneaks into the city, gathering as much information as she can about Khalar.
Conan and his Aesir plan to attack the city, but they are captured by Hyperborean slavers, and put in a cell with Artus, who now realises that the Cimmerians may be his only means of escape. The barbarians are imprisoned and systematically tortured, under the command of Akhun. Witnessing and experiencing this horror gives Conan a hatred of Hyperboreans that lasts his whole life. Tamara, who is unaware of Conan's presence, follows Khalar east. As his fellow Aesir die, vigorous and enduring they may be, Conan realises he must escape. A mixture of misdirection, crafty planning and sheer brutality earn his escape, alongside Artus, who has thrown his lot in with Conan. Artus makes for the long-winding Illbars river: he has friends among the Red Brotherhood, and plans to meet up with them. Conan, however, heads east to find Tamara. They, in turn, are followed by Akhun, along with Remo's assassins.
Khalar comes to the mysterious hidden temple in the steppes. This is, in fact, the final settlement of a group of Acheronians, who fled the dark nation centuries before its demise. They survived the fall, and have kept the bloodline pure. ILIRA (Unknown, but if Ilira has been cut from the story, upgrade Shelly Varod, Alina Puscau, or Katarzyna Wolejnio to the role) is a member of this bloodline, though only one out of all the people have royal blood in their vein: this secret is well-kept, for royal Acheronian blood is a potent conduit of sorcery. The Ashkauri Dynasty of Khauran is a similar example of genetic predisposition to magic. Khalar assaults the temple, and puts the nobles in chains, before taking them back to his citadel Khor Khala, on the northern shores of the Vilayet. Tamara moves close, only to be captured by Hyperborean slavers. Khalar sends Remo's assassins and his hand-picked Kshatriya Riders out to search for any others in the region who might have Acheronian blood.
As luck would have it, Conan was following the slavers east, where he comes upon a battle outside a Hyperborean army camp: they are apparently building siege engines. The horsemen's demand for the slavers to turn their quarry over to Khalar doesn't go over well, and the Hyperboreans and Kshatriya go to battle. In the chaos, Tamara escapes, and sneaks away to find Conan, though Remo and his assassins spot him. In the night, the assassins attempt to capture Tamara and slay Conan, but they did not reckon on the Cimmerians' own stealthy nature, and they are slain - save for Remo, who Conan cripples, and plans to use as a bargaining tool.
At Khor Khala, situated on a northern tributary of the Illbars, Khalar has his own problems. The blasphemous horror he summoned is rejecting all the Acheronians that are fed to him, none with the royal bloodline he seeks. His prized Kshatriya appear to be lost. His lieutenant and his daughter are all separately conspiring to usurp him. The king of Turan is ever more threatened by this unknown presence on the border, as is the larger sorcerous community of the Black Ring and the Black Circle, viewing him as a mounting nuisance to their supremacy. His army, now in the tens of thousands, is growing restless and unwieldy. However, he puts those problems aside when a ship bearing the colours of the Red Brotherhood - Artus and his crew - sails down the river, and launches a single missile from its shipboard ballista - the mangled, screaming Remo, impaled on a spear, bearing Conan's ransom.
Khalar agrees to meet with Conan, and the two exchange commentaries on civilization, barbarism, sorcery and their own upbringing. Conan's trap is eventually sprung, but Khalar is too wily for it, and the meeting devolves into chaos. Conan fights Khalar, but the sorcerer is imbued with terrible strength and skill, too much for even Conan's ferocity to overcome. When it becomes clear the battle cannot be won, Conan has to physically put Tamara on Artus' ship onto the Vilayet, with Khalar's fastest ship in hot pursuit. After a little down-time where the captain speaks of the mounting tension between Hyperborea and Turan - both nations are amassing their armies, the Captain gives Conan a mysterious charm to protect him against magic, and Conan and Tamara muse on philosophy and more base desires, Khalar's ship catches up. A sea battle ensues, with Conan and Fassir having an epic showdown, and the pirates victorious. Victory is short-lived, however, as Khalar's entire navy appears on the horizon. Conan and Tamara decide to split from the pirates, who use the ship to draw the navy away while the two sneak back to Khor Khala.
Disguised, Conan and Tamara try to find a way into Khor Khala and Khalar's fortress, protected on all sides by deadly Turanian archers. While prowling the walls, too slick and sheer for even a Cimmerian, they come upon a band of thieves. Just as Conan plans to cut through them, he recognizes their leader - Ela-Shan, that thief he freed weeks ago at Venarium. Ela-Shan tells him of the ancient catacombs beneath the fortress, with the warning that none come back alive. Conan and Tamara, resolute, make preparations over a few days, where he tells Conan of the wonders of his homeland, Brythunia. Soon, the two plunge into the darkness. In the meantime, Artus sets a plan in motion, using his Red Brotherhood allies to further increase tension between Hyperborea, Turan and Khor Khala, and establishes contact with Ela-Shan. There, they bear mute witness to the horrors beneath Khor Khala: piles of bones and rotting sacrifices, demonic snakes, the suggestion of things lurking in the dark - things that had once been human. Conan's supernatural terror almost gets the better of him, though the flight through the catacombs leads them to the castle itself.
Conan and Tamara discover Ilira and the other Acheronians. However, they must deal with Akhun, who intends to ingratiate himself with Khalar in the new empire, and won't allow Ilira to escape. A fight between Conan, Tamara and the guards ensues, during which Akhun runs with Ilira to Khalar. Conan and Tamara are in pursuit. When Akhun finds Khalar, he sees him in a lotus-induced stupor, and alerts Ukafa of the fact. Ukafa hurriedly goes to his surviving allies Marique and Cheren, planning on using Ilira's power themselves to forge an empire. However, at that moment, the castle rocks: the city is under siege. The Red Brotherhood have incited Hyperborea and Turan (the latter under the command of a certain Prince Yezdigerd) to violence against Khor Khala, which they believe is responsible for the attacks on their outlying settlements. Both nations have mustered formidable armies, and they assault Khor Khala. With Khalar still out of sorts, the leaders prepare for battle, while Marique attempts to do the sorcery necessary to unlock the power of Ilira's Acheronian blood.
Hyperborea's army has great war machines: trebuchets, catapults, onagers, siege towers and rams, as well as heavy cavalry, infantry and archers numbering in the tens of thousands. Turan, meanwhile, has a fleet of purple-sailed Hyrkanian ships bombarding the shore with ballistas and fire, as well as a host of Turanian horsemen. Artus and the Captain sneak into the city thanks to Ela-Shan, and they begin to sabotage the defenders. The battle is intense, and for all Khor Khala's impressiveness, the siege engines are relentless, and the walls start to give. Meanwhile, Conan and Tamara catch up with Marique and Akhun. However, Conan and Tamara are utterly trounced by Marique's sorcery, as Akhun fastens Ilira to a stone altar.
Just then, however, Khalar enters. He is disappointed in Marique, whose ambitions and resentment of her father are now in the open. The two begin a War of Souls, as the walls of the citadel begin to crumble with the impact of trebuchet blows and black sorcery. With the two sorcerers distracted, Conan & Tamara make for Ilira, but Akhun strikes. Both warriors battle as the sorcerers duel, and Tamara tries to free Ilira. Eventually, Khalar destroys Marique, and turns his attention to Conan. Khalar's magic is too great even with the Captain's charm, and he brutalizes Conan.
The battle is going poorly for the defenders: Artus and Ela-Shan have opened the gates for the invaders, and come to blows against Ukafa. Artus pleads with Ukafa to reconsider, but the warrior's sense of honour compels him to fight. However, Cheren enters the fray, and Ukafa must choose where his loyalties lie. After a great duel, Ukafa slays Cheren to prevent the death of his brother, though is mortally slain by Cheren's vengeful archers. The corsairs, seeing Ukafa fall, immediately turn on their former Turanian allies. With the defending forces in disarray, the Hyrkanians and Hyperboreans swarm into the city.
Akhun has Tamara in a vice-like grip. Khalar looks like he's about to finish Conan off, until Tamara taunts him. Khalar's pride overrides his common sense, and he turns from Conan to confront her. He tells Akhun to deal with Conan: Akhun drops Tamara, and stalks towards Conan. All the while, Tamara has been inching her hand to Akhun's scabbard: she skilfully unsheathes the sword without Akhun's awareness. Akhun arrogantly kicks and beats Conan, while Khalar toys with Tamara. When Akhun reaches for his sword, he realizes Tamara's plan, and calls out to warn Khalar. With the millisecond of Khalar's distraction all Tamara needs, she hurls the sword full into Khalar's chest. Thinking fast, Conan uses the distraction to summon his last ounce of strength, and smites Akhun with all his strength, paralysing him. Khalar, clawing madly at the sword, glares defiantly at Tamara, who charges at the wizard, and sends him hurtling backwards into the abyss.
The room rocks, as the assault from the Hyperborean trebuchets starts to bring down the citadel. Conan and Tamara free Ilira from her chains and flee from the crumbling chaos, as the Horror screams hideously and its tentacles flail wildly. Akhun is powerless to act, his eyes staring in stark terror. Fade to black as debris and destruction rain down...
As smoke and fire rise from the streets of Khor Khala, the screams of the dying and shouts of the victorious roaring in the distance, Tamara sits contemplative on the ruins. They discuss their future: Tamara has no love for civilization, having seen the cruelty of Hyperborea and Khor Khala firsthand. She seeks to go back to Cimmeria, where men are honest and life hard but worthy. Conan, however, has a different plan: he has to believe that the Hyborian Kingdoms have more to offer than he's seen in Hyperborea and Khor Khala, and plans to go to them for himself. Tamara notes that Brythunia's in the rough direction she's going, so they resolve to travel together for a little longer.
Conan is, hopefully, a bit less the product of revenge. Unfortunately, the fact that he's effectively chasing after Tamara might give the unfortunate impression that he's a supporting character in his own film.
I've basically turned her from faux-action girl into real action girl, in the vein of Red Sonya or Dark Agnes. Comparisons to Lady Vengeance/Kill Bill are probably inevitable, but I care not. She'd more closely resemble the near-feral Pictish warrior Olga Kurylenko portrayed in Centurion than Scarlett from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Drop the Zym. I've made Khalar a severely displaced Acheronian: his ancestors went to what would become Vendhya, where they planned to join with the People of the Black Circle, but they ended up scattered by the invading Ghuli into isolated communities in the hills, as their compatriots did in Aquilonia. His people had all but forgotten their dark heritage (explaining the Vendhyan/Iranistani name), but he always had a talent for dark magic, as well as being a formidable fighter. Like Khemsa, he became an acolyte of the Black Circle, but learning of his true origins, he decided to strike out on his own, and after a while of wandering, mercenary work and employ in imperial armies, he sought to forge a new empire of his own making. I'm unsure how much of this will actually get into the film - might end up being that supplementary material I hate so much - but it would help explain Khalar a bit more.
Not a big fan of "Corin" as a name, being as it seems to be inspired by the latin Quirinus. Still, far preferable to something like Mordec. I've also made him less of a Cimmerian Mr MiYoda. That said, Ron Perlman is so damn old-looking in the material we've seen, I'm half tempted to just cast him as Conan's grandfather, and have one of the other Cimmerians play his dad. Maybe Ray the Dead Barbarian.
Change the name to something closer to Khalar (Indo-European), or an Acheronian (Greekish) sounding name. She's... not that great, though perhaps "proto-Goth Rocker" isn't the best way to describe her. I'm deliberating over whether to make her "sexy-evil" like Salome of "A Witch Shall Be Born," or make her more like Atla of "Worms of the Earth."
Ilira is not a "Queen of Acheron", but she is part of the pure bloodline of nobles of that eldritch nation. However, though she was raised in the history of Acheron, she wanted no part of it. She is an exceedingly minor part in the film, but I wanted to keep her in it as a MacGuffin.
I'd like to promote this character into the role of "Bad Guy's Enforcer" over Ukafa, since I've had enough of Conan fighting a black dude in movies. Luckily, Nathan Jones isn't too bad an actor for this sort of role, and he'd certainly make a formidable opponent. The question is what to make him? A Vanir or Aesir are too similar to Thorgrimm and Rexor. I'd replace him with a Hyperborean, personally, since Conan's early life is marked by a hatred of them, and it would be fortuitous to tie it in with the film's plot.
While I hate the character, I resolved to keep as much of the film as possible. However, I wanted to add a bit more intrigue, so I decided to make Ukafa and Artus brothers. Having two black dudes so far north seemed to stretch credulity: to have them relatives at least gives some excuse for there to be two or more.
Change the name to something Zamorian. Remo can be a Zamorian master-assassin, possibly using magic, or at least Nabonidus-esque science, to assist his work. He'd be a much tougher opponent for Conan than the shadow-scout version.
Replace with a more Shemite name. Fassir is now another of Khalar's lieutenants.
The only character in the script that could work: just make him less obviously Roman in attire.
I decided to use him as a tie-in to Conan's first civilized wanderings in Brythunia, so he serves a purpose beyond just helping Conan and Tamara out.
I'd replace the name with something more in line with Ukafa, obviously. I think having a displaced Black Corsair as the captain of a Red Brotherhood ship would nicely allay the "Conan always fights black people" nonsense. Conan already has black friends in Sakumbe, Ajonga, Yasunga, Laranga, N'Gora and N'Yaga (not to mention Juba and Zula in the pastiches) so it would be nice to reflect that in the film.
Cheren will be a Turanian type, though obviously with a more Turanian name. Since next to nothing is known about her, I'm going to make her a sort of "sympathetic villain," in that she isn't really a bad guy, she's just on the wrong side.
I have my own ideas on what Conan's mother's name would be, but as Deuce said, Aislinn or Eileen are pretty close to Islene. Unlike this script, Conan the Barbarian and countless others, Conan's mother doesn't die in his. I'm sick of the "one parent" syndrome.
An interesting aspect I'd really like to try for the film is to make Conan's mother naked. There's a line in an early draft of "Black Colossus" which displays Cimmerian women in a rather stark light:
Amalric, delving into the scenes of a turbulent life, recalled a desperate battle on the northern frontier, and wild figures rushing into the melee – tall, supple women, stark naked, their black hair streaming, their eyes blazing, swords dripping redly in their hands. He shook his head.
But if that's impossible, ah well. I just think there's something really powerful and primitive about the visual of a naked, pregnant, bloodstained woman: all the primal aspects of the Earth Mother Goddess, Protector and Attacker, Creator and Destroyer, all that jazz.
I'm tempted to have a sort of echo of the opening moment of "The Frost Giant's Daughter" with the marauder and Conan's mother do a variation on the banter between Conan and Heimdul, though that might be too much. In any case, the guy would be huge, but he wouldn't kill Conan's mother.
This treatment makes a lot of interpretations of Howard and Conan that I don't necessarily agree with. For instance, it turns Conan's choice to leave Cimmeria from simple wanderlust into chasing a girl with the "Kill Bill" style vengeance, which is a simplification of Conan's motivations. It also has Khalar implicit in Venarium, diluting the irony of Conan assaulting the very people he would one day rule, as well as added a rather unnecessary personal aspect to the endeavour. I'm not a fan of many of the characters, but I've endeavoured to include as many as possible, with suitable alterations.
Now, there are many elements of the story which are, unfortunately, pretty integral to how the script goes: the revenge element, Riddle of Steel 2.0, Khalar etc, and I really doubt Doppenheimer would be happy with taking them out. Obviously there are tons of Hyborian tidbits I'd change that one would know upon viewing of said script, but again, that'd be too specific.
Overall, outside things like sadism, post-modern incongruity, dialogue and plotting, there is a slim - sliiim - possibility of turning this into a Conan film. Not a Robert E. Howard film, but maybe - just maybe - a Conan film that wouldn't look too bad next to Conan the Adventurer or the De Matteis comics.